Conn. weapons laws, rail fare hike begin in 2014

Published on NewsOK Modified: December 31, 2013 at 4:03 pm •  Published: December 31, 2013

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — A requirement for state public safety officials to create a registry of people convicted of offenses involving a deadly weapon is one of a host of new laws taking effect in Connecticut on Wednesday.

The registry, which will also track those found not guilty of deadly weapon offenses by reason of mental disease or defect, was part of the package of laws that passed earlier in 2013 in response to the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School.

Offenders must register with the state within 14 calendar days after being released from prison, providing such information as current home and email addresses and identifying information, including a physical description. The registration must be maintained for five years.

That same legislative package also requires assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition magazines to be registered with state authorities as of Jan. 1. Hundreds of people have been lining up at the headquarters of the Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection in Middletown in recent days, seeking the documents that enable them to keep the now-banned items.

"They better be in line; otherwise you'll lose your chance to register and make legal in this state those weapons," warned Gov. Dannel P. Malloy.

Also on Jan. 1, some transportation-related changes will take effect, including the third of three commuter rail fare increases. The average rate increase of about 5 percent will be applied across all rail fares, including weekly and monthly combined bus/rail tickets.

Most CTTransit bus and ADA Paratransit fares will increase Jan. 19.

Additionally, truckers who fail to clear their moving vehicles of snow and ice will be liable for fines ranging from $75 to $1,250. They're exempt from the fines when the snow, sleet or freezing rain begins or continues while the truck is moving.

A compromise delayed the effective date of the law for commercial vehicles in exchange for its final passage in 2010. The state's trucking industry fought for 20 years to block the bill, and it's selling a product that allows drivers to scrape the tops of their big rigs.

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